January 19, 2024
Turkmenistan underwent a serious rapprochement with Russia in recent years, particularly after the establishment of a ruling tandem with Serdar Berdimuhamedow as a formal president and his father, Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow, who retained significant influence in Turkmenistan’s domestic and foreign policy. Due to a few viable alternatives, Russia represents the balancing factor for Turkmenistan towards the increasing Chinese influence over the country and the principal supporter of the regime. On the contrary, Turkmenistan remains a loyal partner in the region for Russia, where the most significant players (Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan) expressed their cautious approach towards Russia's advance in Ukraine.
By Svante E. Cornell
December 8, 2023
Kazakhstan has been deeply affected by the geopolitical turmoil across the region in the past several years, which threatened to undermine the viability of the country’s multi-vector, balanced foreign policy. But Kazakhstan’s leaders have stayed the course, which has for twenty years sought to balance relations with Russia through the expansion of ties with powers ranging from China to the U.S. and Europe. In recent years, Kazakhstan has also embraced regional cooperation in Central Asia, while strengthening ties with Turkey as well. The continued success of this approach remains crucial to the continued independence and stability of Central Asia as a whole.
By Kornely Kakachia
November 30, 2023
On November 8, the European Commission recommended granting candidate status to Georgia. The acceptance or rejection of these recommendations will be determined by a vote from the 27 EU member states in mid-December. If approved by the European Council, this decision would mark a significant milestone in Georgia’s extensive pursuit of European integration, reflecting the historical transformations occurring in the region. As the EU endeavors to anchor Georgia within its newly defined geopolitical sphere, the country is still required to address nine priorities, along with two additional conditions related to combating disinformation. These include countering anti-EU disinformation, foreign information manipulation, and interference against the EU’s values. Another pivotal condition for Georgia involves ensuring a closer alignment of its foreign policy with the EU’s Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP).
By Natalia Konarzewska
January 12, 2023
During his visit to Kazakhstan on September 14, China’s President Xi Jinping asserted that China supports Kazakhstan’s territorial integrity and independence, and opposes any interference in Kazakhstan’s internal affairs. Xi's remarks sounded like a thinly veiled warning to Russia. Moscow has ramped up its aggressive rhetoric against Astana over its refusal to support Russia’s military invasion of Ukraine, which Kazakhstan has interpreted as a possible Russian threat to its territorial integrity. China’s explicit support for Kazakhstan should also be considered against the backdrop of Russia’s recent military defeats in Ukraine, which have exposed multiple military weaknesses.
By Shairbek Dzhuraev
August 30, 2022
Ever since 1991, Kyrgyzstan's international relations have focused on balancing its relation with Russia with developing new international partnerships. In the past decades, the task has become increasingly difficult, as exposed by the war in Ukraine. In the meantime, China has become a critical actor holding the keys to multiple economic issues in the region. Cooperation remains the narrative of Kyrgyzstan's relations with its Central Asian neighbors, although developments on the ground feature a fair share of unresolved conflicts. The paper reviews key developments in Kyrgyzstan's international relations and concludes by highlighting the strengths and weaknesses of the country's foreign policy approach.
The Central Asia-Caucasus Analyst is a biweekly publication of the Central Asia-Caucasus Institute & Silk Road Studies Program, a Joint Transatlantic Research and Policy Center affiliated with the American Foreign Policy Council, Washington DC., and the Institute for Security and Development Policy, Stockholm. For 15 years, the Analyst has brought cutting edge analysis of the region geared toward a practitioner audience.